What We Think We Need.

Last week when Phil’s truck turned up in a dirt depression near a nearby wash, I met a couple new people who live there in the desert, Tom and Quedif.  They were very helpful, and I was beholden to them since they knew the truck was yards from their respective front porches for days and they didn’t take advantage of us.  Due to what I can see of their wardrobes and homes, heaven knows they should have.  So last week, I thanked them for their help, and gave them a little money. 

I asked Quedif, at that first meeting, if there was anything I could do for him, and he said that really, just a little dog food for Sheba, his dog, would be a big help.  It was a simple request, and I told him I would come back on the weekend.  So I did.  Today I brought him some dog food and a bowl, and gave him a $20.  He was effusive in thanking me, and wished me a good day.  As I turned, he called out after me “Do you have…” and I couldn’t hear the rest.  I turned around and asked him what he had said, curious to know what this man who has NOTHING was going to ask me for next.  You know what he asked me for?  It was pretty outrageous.  He asked me if instead of the twenty I had two tens, so he could give half to Tom. 

You are dead if that doesn’t surprise you.  I assured him that I was going to see Tom, and that I would give Tom a little money too.  I had some sweaters of Phil’s for him as well, since it is getting colder.  So next I went to see Tom.  I told Tom that I had been thinking of him this week, and what he might need.  I asked if he wanted the sweaters, and he did.  I gave him some money, as well, and I have to say, he could work at my office.  He is well kept, well spoken and we had a good conversation.  I don’t understand why he is there.  I probably can’t understand why he is there.  At this point I told him again that I had been thinking of him, and that I wanted to know if there was anything that he needed that I could help him with.  Really, I was wide open.  A bike, blankets, a sleeping bag, anything within reason.  What could I help him with?  It is getting colder, he lives under a tree, and I have spent a surprising amount of time this week thinking about what you get the man who has nothing. 

So here I am, asking.  And after Quedif’s last request was for me to break a twenty so he could share it, I was ready for anything.  I could ask anyone I know and they would have a list.  Think about it, if someone strolled up who you knew had the means to give you something big and completely out of your range – couldn’t you give them a list?  I’ll bet you could.  So what did Tom tell me he needed? 

Nothing.  He said he was good.

What do you need?

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3 Responses to What We Think We Need.

  1. Kim Clark-Tritt says:

    Jenine–I haven’t checked in on your blog in awhile, but I am so glad I did today. This story made me smile and, as usual for your blog, made me really think about what’s important. What is really amazing is that you can still feel so thankful and be so gracious after such an invasion of your home. I truly miss my “Jenineisms” 🙂

  2. I lived with them in my studio in New York. And of course if I were doing that book today or even ten years, fifteen years later, I would have gone to where the wild ducks were and where I could study them – I would have gone to the country somewhere.

  3. kolinoliko says:

    have an idea on this interesting article, now you will be contacted

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